Q&A: How Fashion Designer Victor Glemaud Is Putting His Best Foot Forward
A lot has happened since we last spoke with fashion designer Victor Glemaud — not just in the world, but in Victor Glemaud’s world. At the beginning of 2019, Glemaud had just celebrated his Fall 2019 collection’s debut, and shared his thoughts on what a more inclusive industry could look like. Fast-forward to 2020. Glemaud, along with countless other designers, was tasked with running a fashion brand during a pandemic and navigating the unique challenges that went along with it.
There was also societal upheaval — America’s reckoning with race in the wake of so much tragedy. At this moment Glemaud saw a chance to effect real change, and during July of last year he founded IN THE BLK, a 501c3 organization dedicated to supporting Black individuals in the global fashion industry. It is a network and a community, an initiative building solidarity and economic independence for its members.
Bringing people together, however, is only one of Glemaud’s many talents. His ready-to-wear is an unabashed celebration of the body: statement pieces, much of it form-fitting knitwear, with high-contrast colorblocking and monochromatic impact created for “all people, genders, races, sizes and personalities.” While Glemaud’s design approach remains the same, other parts of the industry are far from “business as usual.” As Glemaud himself noted on our Circle of Influence podcast at the tail end of 2020, though, one has to adapt.
Though his last in-person runway show was actually his first ever, Glemaud took his own advice about adaptation in stride for the Fall/Winter 2021 collection; the brand’s lookbook launched yesterday as part of New York Fashion Week’s digital presentation. His latest offering includes a special collaboration with Shekudo, a socially responsible, Nigeria-based shoe and accessory brand advocating for women’s empowerment and slow fashion. We caught up with Glemaud to talk about the most exciting part of helming a fashion brand right now, his F/W 2021 collection and, of course, those shoes… which are exclusively available to shop on The RealReal right now, straight from NYFW. (Speaking of exclusives, we’ll also be hosting a sale later this month featuring archival Victor Glemaud pieces — stay tuned!). Read on for a peek at Glemaud’s creative inner workings.
What’s your creative process?
I start with a stitch and the color.
What inspires you?
The people who wear my clothes. The functionality of the end garment also guides my creative process.
How does resale play into your design process?
In the studio we reference it for color, finishing and shape. Resale has made it easier to acquire, and offers fantastic research opportunities to designers.
What do you look for when sourcing materials?
Who are some of your icons and muses that inspire your design process?
A lot of the people I have dressed: Ashley Graham, Selena Gomez, Iman and First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden, to name a few.
What does it mean to give clothing another life?
Clothes are supposed to be worn, not die in your closet.
Tell us about one of your favorite pieces in the collection — how was it made? Who do you imagine wearing it?
I’m obsessed with my first-ever shoe design, which was made sustainably in Lagos, Nigeria. Everyone, hopefully, while on Zoom.
We’re obsessed with the Shekudo shoes you had in your F/W ’21 collection. Would you tell us about them?
I wanted to do a “runway” shoe that has the same spirit and ease of the collection. Partnering with Shekudo was the perfect choice.
What else informs your styling choices?
The model who will wear the look. They have to like it. Luckily most do!
What excites you about having a fashion brand right now?
That we are able to talk to folks through different channels: social media, circular fashion, as well as directly.
Do you listen to music while you’re working? If so, what’s on your playlist?
“We Got Love” by Teyana Taylor has been on repeat for a long time.
What is your favorite piece in the upcoming archive sale, and why is it special to you?
The green ribbed skirt, for its versatility.
What’s one thing you’re looking forward to this spring?
Seeing my friends… in person, hopefully.